Board Resource Guide: Being on a Board is a Thankless Task But It's Worth Doing

Being a board member in an HOA or community association is a task rooted in civic pride and responsibility not unlike serving on the local school board or town meeting. Some become board members because they want to protect the investment they've made in their home by helping to oversee management of their community. And others may join to feel that they're in charge, or enjoy hearing themselves talk endlessly.

Being a board member can be an educational experience for newer or even longtime members of the community - allowing them to understand what procedures must be in place to ensure that everything in the development runs smoothly. Some people might be dissuaded from joining the board because they know it's not easy, and can virtually amount to having an unpaid part-time job.

Membership = Time Commitment

Because of the time commitment involved, many people would rather sit out than get in the game. People are busy, work regular jobs, and find it hard to fit another activity in - and not to mention listening to gripes from their neighbors.

Larry Vant, though, is an exception. A six-year member of the board of Renaissance Village in North Brunswick, he got on the board within a couple of years of moving to the community, after he "saw some things I didn't understand." He has been president of the board for four years.

In addition to the two-hour or three-hour meeting his board has once a month, Vant spends about three hours a week working on board business. That work could include anything from informal discussions about the condominium to looking into regulations, litigation, inspections or other tasks, he said.

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